What helps good poker players turn into great ones? Being the intricate game that it is, mastering poker requires a lot more than just knowing the basic rules. You must be in the right frame of mind and temperament to deal with the psychological stress that accompanies live and online poker games. But can you really control your reactions as you play this challenging casino game?
For many, many decades, behavioral scientists have been trying to determine whether it is education or our genetic predispositions that determine our character as we grow up. Answering this question can help poker players understand whether they have any say in how they behave at the poker tables, which is a crucial part of becoming a professional player.
Are you ready to find out whether your genetics overshadow your acquired behavioral traits as you play the game you love?
Genetics vs. Education: What Does Science Say?
The concept of genetics affecting our mood and personality emerged decades ago, and dozens of theories and scientific studies tried to find an answer to this fascinating question.
First of all, there's the Blood Type Personality Theory that turned into a common belief in Japan and South Korea. While it was never proven, thousands of people still believe that the blood type you're born with affects your personality and temperament, which subsequently affects your ability to deal with stressful situations like playing poker.
According to the theory (which is also known as ketsueki-gata in Japanese), there are four groups of people:
- People with type A blood – This group of people is often linked to positive traits such as creativity, cleverness, and great communication abilities. However, people with this blood type are also described as stubborn, which can affect their ability to adjust to changes.
- Those with Type B blood – Personality traits like strength, passion, empathy, and decisiveness are often linked to people with B blood type. However, on the negative side, type B people also tend to be rather erratic and unpredictable as well, which doesn't bode well for those who need to make rational decisions at the poker table.
- Individuals with AB blood – Unsurprisingly, this blood type is said to have the same characteristics as both type A and type B people. Rationality, adaptability, alongside indecision and forgetfulness, are some of the traits said to have by people of this blood group.
- People with O blood – Those who can donate to everyone and receive from no one else are said to be confident, determined, intuitive, and resilient. However, on the downside, this blood type theory also describes them as unstable, which is not a good quality if you're trying to make a profit from playing poker.
Multiple Japanese and Korean psychologists conducted surveys over the years. And while some of them found a connection between your blood type and your personality, others concluded that only those who believed in the theory showed significant differences in character depending on their genetics.
Other studies that focused on DNA rather than blood type showed that about 20-60 percent of our temperament is determined by genetics. Twins are the lead examples of this, as identical twins, even when raised separately, typically have very similar temperaments compared to their non-twin siblings.
However, there is no way to determine which genes affect specific personality traits, as there are thousands of gene variations and combinations ca affect every single behavioral propensity.
Can You Become a Better Poker Player Despite Your Genes?
Even if you're born with specific personality traits, environmental factors can still greatly affect the person you become. Education and the willingness to change can come a long way if you truly want to change, so every person has the ability to learn how to control themselves at the poker table.
To become a better poker player, you should first determine which personality traits are holding you back from mastering the game. Do you get riled up easily? Do you make irrational decisions when you're stressed? Once you become aware of your shortcomings, you can work on that and slowly become a more level-headed and rational poker player!